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Tabletop Game / Noumenon

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Noumenon is a Tabletop RPG of mystery and abstraction published by Abstract Nova. The Player Characters are Sarcophagi, strange insect-like creatures trapped within the Silhouette Rouge, a place where the conscious and subconscious merge, where the real and unreal are one in the same. During their adventures, players will encounter bizarre entities and explore strange locations. The Sarcophagi walk the Silhouette Rouge hoping to divine its secrets, for only revelation and enlightenment can grant them release.


In Noumenon, the true nature of things is not revealed. Gamemasters will need to invent their own truths, their own reality. Substance can be found, but it's obscured under surrealism and nonsense. Any underlying meaning is hidden beneath symbolism and imagery. The true nature of the Silhouette Rouge remains a mystery throughout, and many questions posed in the game go unanswered. Noumenon is a Rorschach test. Whatever the Silhouette Rouge's true nature, only by experiencing its wonders can anyone hope to fathom the mystery at its heart. Only by solving the mystery can one escape the Silhouette Rouge.


This game contains examples of:

  • Alien Abduction: Surgineers come from their alien reality to the Prima Materia to abuct Sarcophagi and Hollow Men. After subduing their prey, the Surgineers await the passing of the reality spasm before vanishing. No one knows what fate befalls the abductees. It is said that the Surgineers perform bizarre operations on Sarcophagi and Hollow Men, reshaping them into new forms of life. Some even whisper that the Sarcophagi and the Others are Surgineer experiments.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Justin St. Just is the concept of mystery given flesh as a human-like being.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: The Sarcophagi were once human before being resurrected into a new existence. Memory and history are lost to them; their old lives cast aside like a cocoon that has been outgrown.
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  • Bat Out of Hell: Foul creatures known as Chiroptera dive from their perches in the upper darkness of the Womb to feast on newborn Sarcophagi, or glide the empty currents of Nowhere and wait for unsuspecting prey. When Sarcophagi awaken, so does the hunger of the Chiroptera. Once they engage their prey, Chiroptera will fight until either they or their prey is dead. Most souls plucked by the Chiroptera are driven mad by the emptiness of Nowhere, with few returning to the Silhouette Rouge.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Sarcophagi are insects that walk as men. They see the world with compound eyes, manipulate reality with four arms and are protected by a chitinous exoskeleton.
  • The Blank: Most of the dancers in Scorpio are faceless — they have no eyes, mouth or nose.
  • Blob Monster: The Dark's formless black shape shifts and flows like syrup as it drifts aimlessly through the Silhouette Rouge.
  • Came Back Strong: The Minotaur cannot be permanently killed and with each rebirth, the creature is stronger than before, with 5 more Strength.
  • Cargo Cult: The Precession is a mystery cult that worships the Machinery of Virtue. They believe the Machinery is the gateway to transcendence, an escape from the Silhouette Rouge, which they see as a prison for their souls.
  • Charm Person: Sarcophagi knowledgeable in the Principle of Heart can manipulate the thoughts and emotions of other living beings. They can dominate another's will, invoke any emotion, and freely spy on their target's thoughts.
  • Creepy Crows: Bizarre ravens, with razor beaks, swarm unsuspecting travellers in the Spider Mountain. They seem to know each traveller's past and secrets, and with each peck from their poisonous beak, bring horrible, buried memories to the mind's surface. Many visitors lose their sanity, as the pain, sadness and terror overwhelm their tired bodies.
  • Death Mountain: The room called the Spider Mountain is a wide and long passage, sloping steadily upwards, as if a side of a mountain has been transplanted within the space. Giant boulders, sharp jagged rocks and pockets of mud meander up to the far side, where a visitor can just make out the exit — a darkened cave opening at the top. The mountainside is treacherous for an unprepared traveller.
  • Eldritch Location: The Silhouette Rouge is a place that is not a place, a state of existence outside of normal experience. It is the nexus of the conscious and subconscious, the merging of instinct and thought. In this hyper-reality, real and unreal are one and the same. At irregular intervals, the nature of reality and the geometry of the Silhouette Rouge mutates.
  • Empty Shell: Hollow Men, whose connection to the Logos has been severed, become listless shells of their former self.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: Kai-tang nim Jin-yao's eyes are two burning coals, where untold years of contempt and austerity and self-denial have literally burned holes in his face.
  • Flanderization: The exhibits in the Room of You are designed to flatter the viewer's self-image by celebrating some aspect of their personality, almost to the point where they become parody. Their personal strengths have been pushed to the point where they're almost unrecognisable. The ideal self-image has pared away everything else – instead of being a dynamic, three-dimensional character, the person has become a cliché.
  • Genius Loci: Those who fall into Q'wtz'tryql, a sentient dream, find themselves lost in an abstract environment, endless within itself.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The lore contained in the Eremite's tomes can answer many obscure questions, except those regarding the Silhouette Rouge and the Others.
  • I Have Many Names: The Machinery of Virtue has many appellations. The Divine Tesseract. The Eater of Sins. The Impossible Apparatus.
  • Information Wants to Be Free: The Speaker of Secrets is a creature that hunts down creatures that withhold information for their own benefit. The only way to escape it is to surrender all secrets to an audience, for whom the secrets have meaning.
  • Living Dream: Q'wtz'tryql is a sentient dream given physical form.
  • Master of Illusion: The servants of the Adversary are masters of deception. They cast illusions that are real to the senses, can invoke confusion in their victims' minds, and can persuade their victims to believe otherwise ridiculous claims or outright lies.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: A successful attack with the proboscis permanently reduces the opponent's maximum Strength.
  • Mr. Exposition: There is little Sol Invictus does not know about the Others who walk the Prima Materia. If asked, he is all too willing to share this information with the colony.
  • Natural Weapon: Sarcophagi have a pair of serrated mandibles used to rend flesh, a retractable barbed stinger that can pierce most tissue and secretes powerful venom, and a proboscis which can suck out an enemy's life force.
  • No Need for Names: Sarcophagi take no names, which they call 'flimsy trappings of base ego'.
  • Non-Human Head: Where Sol Invictus' head should be, resides a sun as brilliant as any in the heavens.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The Minotaur is a horned beast who walks on powerful legs and hooves and slouches its way through the labyrinth that is the Silhouette Rouge.
  • Reality Is Out For Lunch: On occasion, and without notice, the nature of reality can shift on the Prima Materia. This is a pronounced and violent upheaval. The senses lie, temporal distortions confuse, the geometry of the Prima Materia mutates, colours blur and subdivide in kaleidoscopic patterns. These reality spasms are short lived, but disorienting. Anything is possible during a reality spasm. When designing reality spasms, the Gamemaster should let creativity run amok.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Should the Minotaur be killed, it will only be gone for a time. Inevitably, the Minotaur returns, angrier than ever.
  • Scratch Damage: All attacks on Sarcophagi still do at least 1 point of damage, regardless of the amount of damage absorbed by the Sclerites birthright.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Oracles of the Principles of Unity can experience creation through the senses of another being (known as the conduit). Sarcophagi can see through the conduit's eyes, hear what the conduit hears, taste what the conduit tastes, etc. Any being in the Silhouette Rouge can serve as a conduit.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Masters of the Principles of Time can rewind time so that poor choices, mistakes or failures can be undone, and different paths can be walked.
  • Sinister Surveillance: The cyclopean red eyes of security cameras, nine in all, slowly pan across the Grand Foyer's shadow. No one knows who is watching, or why, or if anyone is even monitoring what the cameras record. Some hypothesise that it is the Logos keeping a curious eye on the Waste Land.
  • Spider Swarm: Dark, furry spiders make their homes in slimy pockets in the cliff face of the Spider Mountain. When a moment presents itself, they will attempt to pick off any isolated or slow travellers. A bitten victim is overcome with paralysis, and more spiders will emerge to swarm and rend with their sharp claws.
  • Telepathy: Although Sarcophagi can speak (and must do so, in order to interact with the inhabitants of the Silhouette Rouge) they often do not do so amongst each other, instead relying on telepathic contact.
  • Time Master: Sarcophagi knowledgeable in the Principle of Time have learned to see the reality that lies beyond the veil of time. They can freeze moments and step between the cracks of nanoseconds. At the highest, most obscene level of power, they can change the past, unmaking an event or experience.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time is fluid on the Conch. The climb to the upper floor can take as little as a few seconds or as long as hours.
  • Wall Crawl: Pulvilli are soft, cushion-like pads on the hands and feet of the Sarcophagi. They enable Sarcophagi to cling to walls and ceilings.
  • Was Once a Man: The Dark was once a being of flesh and thought, but it surrendered form and ego in exchange for power. Three sacrifices were made: the first was the physical self, the second memory, and the third to be given was identity, leaving it a pointless nothing existing in an endless present.
  • Winged Humanoid: Some Sarcophagi have two or four membranous wings that extend from their back.